Degree, Clinical Consequences, and Eradication of Iodine Deficiency in Europe

  • F. Delange

Abstract

Iodine is a trace element whose only confirmed function is to constitute an essential substrate for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine or T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) (1). The daily requirements of iodine for humans are 150 μg in adults, 200 μg in pregnant and lactating women and 90–120 μg in infants and children (2). When the physiological requirements of iodine are not met in a given population, a series of functional and developmental abnormalities occur, including hypothyroidism, endemic goiter, cretinism and mental retardation, decreased fertility, increased perinatal death and infant mortality. These complications, which constitute a hindrance to the development of the affected populations, are grouped under the general heading of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, IDD (3). The data presently available indicate that approximately 1.5 billion people are at risk of IDD, i.e. 28.9% of the earth population, including 140 million in Europe (4). Iodine deficiency therefore constitutes one of the most common preventable causes of mental deficiency. The objective of this paper is to review the present situation of IDD and its control in Europe.

Keywords

Iodine Deficiency Iodine Intake Congenital Hypothyroidism Iodine Content Urinary Iodine Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Delange
    • 1
  1. 1.International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD)BrusselsBelgium

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